Nestled in a picturesque valley, Rochester lies on a fork in the Zumbro River. In addition to historic buildings and estates associated with the Mayo Clinic, it’s home to a fine-art centre and sits near the starting point of the Douglas State Trail.
Things to do in Rochester
Admire the former residence of Dr. Henry Stanley Plummer, who was the co-founder of the Mayo Clinic, at Plummer House, considered one of Rochester’s most iconic landmarks. This English Tudor mansion is set within formal landscaped gardens and is noted for incorporating many innovations that were novel for their time.
On the outskirts of Rochester lies the Mayowood estate of co-founder Dr. Charles Mayo, which features a beautiful lake, farmland and working greenhouses. Elegant furnishings collected over Mayo’s many years of travel adorn the period rooms, with guided tours offering a fascinating insight into the family history.
Art enthusiasts should visit the Rochester Art Center, which boasts a scenic setting overlooking the Zumbro River. It’s dedicated to contemporary art, showcasing work by both local and international artists, and offers regular art-oriented workshops and guided tours.
Explore the Douglas State Trail, which extends 20 kilometres along the abandoned Chicago Great Western Railway. Go hiking, cycling or horseback riding through some of Minnesota’s most fertile agricultural lands, stopping in the picturesque town of Douglas along the way.
Getting around Rochester
Rochester International Airport is located around 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre, while Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport is around 1.5 hours away. Public buses access most corners of Rochester and there’s a well-established system of skyways and subterranean walkways linking most of the downtown area.